Winner of the 2016 AIMES Music Award Miller Yule is celebrating the release of new music, as 2021 draws to a close. We caught up with Miller to find out more about his music, since winning his Albany Toyota-sponsored AIMES Award...
Congratulations on releasing your new track, Lock Me Up. Could you tell us what inspired this and how it feels to have this out in the world?
Thank you! Lock Me Up was inspired by that universal human feeling of unrequited love. We've all had that crush on someone or loved that person who didn't reciprocate how we felt. It's a crappy feeling. So I found myself thinking a lot about 'stealing someone's heart' and the conflict between the romance of that act vs the morals of literally stealing (not good!). I like how the lyrics convey that I know what I'm doing is somehow wrong, I'm pleading guilty, a fugitive on the run, a hopeless romantic asking to be locked up before committing the crime of stealing someone's heart!
It's wonderful to have Lock Me Up out in the world. It's nice to reflect and look back at where the song came from; from writing it on my guitar, in my room, at my flat, to recording the rough demo versions on my phone, to recording the final version in the studio, having it sent to England to be mixed and then to Nashville to get mastered, then we made the music video with the help of NZ On Air, and now it's released for everyone else to listen to! The song really does take on its own personality.
What did lockdown this year look like for you?
Lockdown this year was hard but actually pretty productive and it involved a lot of chocolate and snacks! I managed to set up some studio gear in my room at my flat and could continue to work on various composing jobs for clients as well as focus on my own music. I got a lot done but by the end of the lockdown, having the gear in my room became a little like groundhog day. I'd wake up, work, sleep, wake up, work, sleep, and so on...So it's nice to have a better balance now that we are out of lockdown. I did really enjoy getting out for runs to stay mindful and fit as well as finding time to write new songs.
What have been your main learnings from this challenging couple of years?
Understanding what you can control and what you can't control is a superpower in absolutely every aspect of life.
How did winning an AIMES Award help you?
Winning the AIMES music award was a great achievement for me and a very proud moment in my musical journey. The money from the award went directly into funding my second music video for my song 'Little Things' as well as going towards some recording studio costs. Having the AIMES and North Harbour Club community support me since then has been amazing. I feel very lucky.
Which artists / people have most influenced you?
Oh man! There are too many people in this category. My partner is amazing, my family is amazing, my friends are amazing, music teachers, other musicians, artists, sports heroes, historical figures, even fictional characters (Indiana Jones is pretty darn cool!).
I even find my past self inspires my present self to keep going in order to be the future self that I want to be. How's that for some 'Back To The Future' storyline?!
With regards to how I've arrived at this point musically as an artist, I've come a long way since the first CD I ever bought. I was seven years old when I bought the 1998 Europop global hit "I'm Blue (da ba dee)" by Eiffel 65! Despite still knowing all the words, I can't say my song-writing reflects this purchase. But nonetheless, it was where my love of music started. I think the following week I bought "What's The Story Morning Glory?" by Oasis and they have definitely been a staple in my musical diet ever since.
During high school was when every teenager discovered their father's record collection... I was no different and it's really interesting to hear all the Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams and Dire Straits influences come out in my songwriting now. It's great to hear current artists like Harry Styles, James Bay and Shawn Mendes also channeling those great, classic rock songwriting influences too.
What does summer 2021/22 hold for you?
I just want a nice holiday. Time to recharge and step away after a full-on year of work and releasing Lock Me Up into the world. Then I'll get stuck into some exciting things I have planned for next year...
How would your dream 2022 look?
My dream 2022 would begin with releasing some new music and playing some live shows with the band. It would end with me scoring the winning goal at the FIFA World Cup and then lying on a tropical beach somewhere with some freshly squeezed juice with a little umbrella in the glass!
What would be your advice to other young Shore people considering applying for an AIMES Award?
Do it! Back yourself and apply. Above all, do what you want to do, do it your way and keep going.
Thank you AIMES and The North Harbour Club for the ongoing support of me, my music and for everything you give to the North Shore community.
Check out the official video for Miller's new song, Lock Me Up, here:
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